Archive for the ‘ Rail Explorers Northern Ramble ’ Category

Rail Explorers Northern Ramble – Portsmouth

  • Rail Explorers – Northern Ramble
  • Alexander Road, Portsmouth, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°35’5.76″N, 71°16’58.32″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 14, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.3 miles
  • Easy.

 

Not a hike, Not a walk… a different type of Rails to Trails! While most of the former railroads in Rhode Island have been converted from rails to trails by the means of bike paths, this former section of the Old Colony Railroad has been creatively reinvented. No walking and bicycle riding on this “trail”. A pedal powered rail vehicle, simple to operate, is the means of exercise and exploration. The tracks here date back to 1864 and were used until 1980. They remained unused until the spring of 2017 when “Rail Explorers” opened for business. There are two main options to choose from, the Southern Circuit which is a 3 mile out and back ride, or the Northern Ramble, which is a 5.4 mile one way ride. Today, we took the later, starting at the Portsmouth Grove Station on Alexander Road in Melville. The route passes Melville Ponds Recreation Area, the Green Animals Topiary Gardens, and the Portsmouth Abbey School all to the right. Along this stretch and to the left you will have sweeping views of Narragansett Bay, Prudence Island, and (on a clear day) spot Downtown Providence in the distance. Continuing the route passes over the historical “Bloody Brook” (Barker Brook), through a golf course, by the tower at Carnegie Abbey, before catching a glimpse of the Hog Island Light to the left. From here you will pass under the Mount Hope Bridge, by Bristol Ferry Landing (just after the bridge to the left), and then pass over a significant channel called Founders Brook. The land on each side is part of the Town Pond/Bertha Russell Preserve. Across the bay is a significant hill. This is Mount Hope where King Phillips Chair is located. The last part of the route pushes eastward through the Montaup Country Club before coming to its terminus at the Hummocks Station. From here it is a bus ride back to Portsmouth Grove. This route is also offered in reverse at different times of the day. The rail vehicles are available in two or four seats.

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Northern Ramble by the Mount Hope Bridge

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From the Rail Explorers Website (https://www.railexplorers.net/)

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